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Minnesota puts final touches on Super Bowl bid and sends it off

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Minnesota's new football stadium is not much more than a hole in the ground, but a pitch to bring the Big Game there is winging its way to NFL owners.

The chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Michele Kelm-Helgen, tells MPR News the final bid to bring the 2018 Super Bowl to the new Vikings stadium under construction in Minneapolis was sent off by Federal Express Tuesday.

A preliminary bid was sent to the NFL at the start of April.

The Authority that Kelm-Helgen leads is overseeing construction of the new $1 billion stadium that is the centerpiece of Minnesota's pitch for the Super Bowl. Minneapolis' tourism agency, public relations and advertising companies, and a committee of business leaders appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton also had input in the bid.

But as the Star Tribune reports, they've all been pretty tight-lipped about just what will convince NFL team owners to award Super Bowl LII to the Twin Cities when they make their decision on May 20.

Details about Minnesota's bid have been scarce largely to keep the other two cities competing for the game – Indianapolis and New Orleans – in the dark about Minneapolis' pitch.

The same close-to-the-vest mentality pervades in those cities, too. The Chief Operating Officer of the Indianapolis Colts, Pete Ward, tells the Indianapolis Business Journal "You don't want to show too many cards," because if competitors know your strategy they're equipped to prepare a counterattack.

Minnesota has not hosted a Super Bowl since 1992 (check out the halftime show). But Indianapolis has been through this drill recently, having hosted the 2012 Super Bowl. Their Business Journal sums up this stage of the competition with this choice paragraph:

The process to select the Super Bowl is filled with intrigue, including secretive bidding committees, hardcore owner-to-owner lobbying, and a voting process with a troubled past. Though many have tried to handicap the results, those closest to the process say it’s wholly unpredictable. With final bids due to the 32 team owners May 7, everything is hanging in the balance.

Now that the deadline for final bids is here, it's possible we may learn more about what went into Minnesota's pitch.

For now, one of the few things we know is that the 32 team owners were receiving Minnesota's bid on iPads that Best Buy contributed to the cause.

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